The ACM Reports on Blogging
:: The December 2004, v47 n12, Communications of the ACM was a special issue devoted to "The Blogosphere." From the introduction by Andrew Rosenbloom:
Weblogs are a relatively new form of mainstream personal communication, like instant messaging, email, cell phones, and Web pages. They're also a new voice for traditional mass-market newspapers, magazines, and broadcasters.The issue features five articles on blogging, covering stucture and evolution, semantic blogging, reasons why people blog, the impact of blogs on the online community, and how blogs contribute to filtering of information, and what the consequences might be in a democratic society.
A blogger needs only a computer, Internet access, and an opinion. It also helps to have a personal obsession and total confidence in your own voice. In need of someone else's opinion, the options are equally open ended.
Less than 10 years ago, practically all media was still a one-way street. Then early self-published online journals, or Weblogs, began to let bloggers bypass the corporate media gatekeepers to say and show practically anything they could think of to tens of millions of computer users around the world. Having to please no one but themselves, these bloggers began enthusiastically linking and cross-linking to and referencing one another's sites and commentaries. These links drove development of blog technology, as well as user curiosity and ultimately creation of the worldwide blogosphere. In contrast, today's generation of bloggers mainly wants to be heard or seen—instantly, throughout the Internet—even as they tend to ignore everything else.